I would consider myself a bit of a nerd, so when I heard that this was the next film to come out in the Marvel universe, I was surprised, because unlike Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor, I had never heard of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, and I really didn't know anything about it. Which, having seen now seen it, makes sense, because it is nothing like any of the previous films in the series.
The main story of the film is that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), is abducted by aliens as a child, and eventually grows up to be an Indiana Jones-type character, recovering artefacts from around the galaxy and selling them to the highest bidder. But it turns out that he is wanted for crimes, and ends up being hunted by a bounty hunter duo of a talking raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and his tree-man friend (Vin Diesel). He is also wanted by Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) because of the Orb he recently found, and he sends one of his agents, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to retrieve it. But it then turns out that she in turn wants to betray Ronan and sell the Orb to The Collector (Benicio del Toro). Oh, and Peter is also wanted by his old friends, again, because of the bounty on his head.
The whole thing is a little confusing at first as you're landed right in the middle of the story, but eventually you learn exactly who everyone is and what they want, and the film then feels more authentic, and the different planets feel real as a result, because it seems as if life has been going on these worlds before the start of the film, and we as an audience are just watching one story that happens in it. Although because of all of the different planets and aliens, the film does have more of a Star Wars feel to it than a Marvel film, but it is only influence by that universe, and not a direct copy, so it doesn't take away from the film at all.
The best thing about this film, as with all Marvel films, is the self-awareness. The director, James Gunn, and everyone involved in the film knows how ridiculous this universe is, and rather than trying to take itself too seriously, it has fun, and ends up being extremely entertaining and enjoyable. The chemistry between the main characters is excellent, and some of the dialogue is absolutely hilarious. Usually when a film has a talking animal in it you expect that character to be the comic relief in an otherwise serious film. But while the raccoon is very funny in parts, he is no funnier than any of the rest of them.
It is a fantastic film, and shows that Marvel Studios has no signs of slowing down, and only continues to raise the bar for itself.
Guardians of the Galaxy is out on the 31st July